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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Strut Stabilizer Link

A two week ago I got an oil change and the tech noted on my invoice that my rear passenger shock was leaking. I poked around on the forum here for recommendations and ended up buying some KYB shocks on Amazon. My dad and I were about to swap them out rather easily last weekend, and I thought that with 94,000 miles on the car, changing the front struts wouldn't be an awful idea either. I purchased KYB complete strut kits on Amazon thinking that they would be on in the same realm of ease to replace. I watched some videos on YouTube to see what tools I would need, and what the process would entail.

Yesterday I took the two strut kits to my dad's house and we collected the tools we needed according to the video I watched. It explained taking the two bolts off the lower bracket (where the speed sensor is attached on the driver's side), one in the middle for the stabilizer and the three under the hood on the top of the strut tower. Not sure why (ended up being a good thing, I guess), but we started on that middle bolt for the stabilizer. The video said to use a 17mm wrench to hold the flat portion behind the bracket and remove the nut from the front of the bolt. We didn't have an 18mm socket for the impact gun so we used a ratchet with a cheater bar to get the nut off. Long story short, it never came off. It got most of the way, but eventually the spot that was supposed to be square behind the bracket (where the 17mm wrench was) was no longer square. We tried holding it with Vise Grips, which just made a slightly smaller circle.

We reached a point where it was going to start getting dark and I wasn't sure if the car could be driven with the stabilizer as loose as it was. I started looking at how much a replacement stabilizer was and found some on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-46G0424A-Advantage-Suspension-Stabilizer/dp/B006N99EXQ), and plan to purchase two. One to replace the mostly destroyed one, and another for the other side, assuming a similar problem could arise when trying to remove that one as well.

My question is, was this something we did wrong? Is there some sort of trick to removing it, or did e use the wrong sized wrench? Because we weren't able to get it off and the flat portion is now rounded, we'll probably have to cut the but or bolt shaft to get it off the upper portion (where it connects to the strut), and we might even have the same problem getting the lower bolt off where it connects to what I believe is the sway bar.

Hoping someone can offer advice on if this is the correct link to purchase (I saw on another auto parts site that there are different types for FE1 and FE5 suspensions.. I don't know what I have. The strut kits I bought are SR4056/7.), and help rebuild my confidence to get the link arm off correctly.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 03:39 PM
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impact gun is your friend. try to get a vice grip on the shaft behind the nut somewhere.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-01-2015, 08:21 PM
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I ended up having to use vice grips on the nut (it's supposed to be a 17mm, if I recall correctly) to remove it. Only had about 45k miles at that point.

I replaced mine with Moogs (since I went with an FE5 swaybar), but those have a much stouter nut on there.

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